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Linda Mah
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KPS Released from State Partnership Agreement

Washington, Woodward Attain 3-year On-Track Achievement

After completing three years of work with the state Office of Partnership Districts, Washington Writers’ Academy and Woodward School for Technology and Research have been released from their Partnership Agreements as of June 30.

The schools have attained three years of on-track achievement, which releases Kalamazoo Public Schools from the Partnership District agreement that was established May 2018, according to a letter from the Michigan Department of Education and the Office of Partnership Districts.

Superintendent Rita Raichoudhuri and the KPS Board of Education congratulated the schools and their staff members at the board’s June 18 meeting.

Washington Principal Lanisha Hannah-Spiller said most would not understand the time and work that schools put into fulfilling the requirements of the partnership agreement. Over the past three years her team worked on data analysis, intervention planning, core instructional best practices, and trauma-informed care and strategies. During the school’s 18-month review of goal attainment, staff members had met all but one of their goals, she said.

“I am extremely proud of the teachers, staff, students and families,” Hannah-Spiller said. “Thank you to all of our community partners and mentors for being a part of our village. A huge thank you to the families who chose to stick by us and had unwavering faith in us during very uncertain times. All of us (teachers, students, staff, etc.) owned where we were and brought open minds along with a willingness to do the work. It was not easy but we did it.”

Frank Rocco, principal of Woodward, cited broad community support as being key to the school's success.

"This was years of hard, dedicated work from the entire Woodward community," he said. "I would like to thank the Woodward staff for once again rising to the occasion. I'd also like to thank our community partners, the district support staff, our friends at Washington Writers' Academy, as well as all the families that stuck with us through this process. We're extremely pleased with this outcome."

Cindy Green, assistant superintendent for Teaching and Learning Services, said the schools have done excellent work developing systems to support student achievement, including teachers working in small groups and setting goals with measurement checks and creating more family activities to encourage parental support.

“Principals Lanisha Hannah-Spiller and Frank Rocco are leaders who continually learn and implement change with passion to make a difference for student success. The district celebrates the hard work from both principals, teachers, and staff to make a positive difference for their school communities. Congratulations!," Green said.

In the letter releasing the district from the partnership agreement, William Pearson, director of the Office of Partnership Districts, wrote, “It was a pleasure to have the opportunity to partner with KPS and provide support throughout the implementation of its Partnership Agreement. The Office of Partnership Districts wishes you continued success.”

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